Fradd sounds warning on classy sprinter Expedient
Expedient confirmed his position as one of the most progressive sprinters in training with a pillar-to-post victory in the first of five barriers trials down the Sha Tin 1,000-metre chute yesterday.
This traditional pre-Melbourne Cup set of trials habitually throws up some good prospects and yesterday was no exception.
The first two heats were dominated by more exposed sorts with Expedient clocking the best time of the morning as he scored by a couple of lengths and half a length from such quality opponents as Fairy King Prawn and Johan Cruyff.
The prolific Robbie Fradd has made the ride on Expedient his own and yesterday they jumped straight to the front and are likely to take plenty of beating when trainer Peter Ng Bik-kuen sends Expedient to the sports for his seasonal reappearance.
Fairy King Prawn has been significantly improved for his eye-catching first-up effort and looks one of the main chances in Saturday's National Panasonic Cup, which is down the same 1,000-metre chute.
David Hayes had the blinkers back on Johan Cruyff yesterday with the multiple champion jockey Basil Marcus replacing Freddie Sanchez, who failed to keep the International Cup runner-up straight on his reappearance.
Both changes should help this high-class galloper, who kept on strongly for third, having been in mid-division for much of the trial.
Andy Leung's Sun Shine River also made good ground for fifth and could improve again this season while David Oughton's Che Sara Sara wasn't knocked around to run seventh.
Fradd was again on the mark in the second with the Derek Cruz-trained Fortune Maker. This New Zealand import could be in for a good season as last time he was on the bit throughout when bolting home down the Sha Tin 1,000-metre chute and not many horses are able to win in such facile fashion.
Yesterday, Fortune Maker made all to hold the Geoff Lane-trained Heavenly Wind, who was himself confirming a number of promising gallops and is another must to follow in forthcoming sprints. Malayan Pearl kept on for third for Peter Ho and Eric Saint-Martin and remains a good staying prospect.
Lane sent out Perfect Fun to win the third heat in a fair time relative to his rating.
Perfect Fun had a few problems last season but now appears to be coming right.
He had a head to spare over Handsome Man, who was later found to have bled and this may go some way to explaining his erratic behaviour when put under full pressure on each of his two race starts this season.
Ho's Prosperous Dynasty won the fourth trial but in a slow time with Only The Brave looking much improved for Wylie Wong as he kept on well to the line.
Kudos caught the eye in the last for Ricky Yiu and Steven King and appears better in himself than last season.
Lawrie Fownes' unnamed V085 kept on for third and looks to have a future.
Yesterday's Sha Tin turf trials First trial _ 1,000m: 1, EXPEDIENT (R. Fradd); 2, Fairy King Prawn, (S. King); 3, Johan Cruyff (B. Marcus). Others: (in finishing order): Solid Contact, Sun Shine River, Ovation, Che Sara Sara, Rajput, Seven Castles, Holy Grail, Zinedine, Cupid. Time: 0:59.3 (22.6). Distances: 2 lengths, .5 length. Winner trained by Peter Ng Bik-kuen.
Second trial _ 1,000m: 1, FORTUNE MAKER (R. Fradd); 2, Heavenly Wind (E. Legrix); 3, Malayan Pearl (E. St-Martin). Others: Handbag's Honour, Smart Kid, Temmoku, Kristofferson, Interesting Stake, Electronic Unicorn, Lucky Boy, Best Gain, Star Of Tai Po. Time: 0:59.9 (23.5). Distances: head, .75 Length. Winner trained by Derek Cruz.
Third trial _ 1,000m: 1, PERFECT FUN (E. Legrix); 2, Handsome Man (G. Boss); 3, The Magaton (S. King). Others: Surplus, Happy Fellow, Victory Mount, Yoyo Express, Eternal Fun, Fame And Fortune, Word Of Honour, Telecom Prince, Northern Gold Ball, Fortune River. Time: 1:00.2 (23.1). Distances: head, 1 length. Winner trained by Geoff Lane.
Fourth trial _ 1,000m: 1, PROSPEROUS DYNASTY (E. St-Martin); 2, Only The Brave (E. Legrix); 3, Win Perfection (C. M. Ho). Others: Dollars And Sense, Star Dragon, Sunny Day, My Honour, V045, Diamond Talents, Reputation, Tattenhall, Hong Kong Sparky, Pymble Lad, Good Relation. Time: 1:01.2 (23.2). Distances: head, head. Winner trained by Peter Ho.
Fifth trial _ 1,000m: 1, BOMBERMAN (B. Marcus); 2, Kudos (S. King); 3, V085 (W. Woods). Others: Blazer, Charlie's Angel, Easy Win, Qui Vivra Verra, Jimmy The Greek, Intrigue, Survey General, Loyal Devotion, Amiable, Trusty Steed, Trigger. Time: 0:59.9 (22.9). Distances: .5 length, 2 lengths. Winner trained by David Hayes.